The Alliance’s financial situation appears to be moving in a positive direction

Read more: Alliance’s general fund looks ‘stable’ at year-end Andrew Grove, who served as general counsel and chairman of Alliance’s city council finance committee until 2021, said Alliance ended the year with a balance carried forward of approximately $ 3 million. It comes about four years after the state auditor elevated Alliance to financial oversight.

The highest level of fiscal distress is the fiscal emergency.

The state auditor’s office put Alliance on fiscal prudence in January 2018 after the city saw low year-end balances in several city funds. Four months later, Alliance moved to financial watchdog status – a higher level of concern – after the city failed to present a financial recovery plan within the allotted timeframe.

Mayor Alan Andreani drew up a financial turnaround plan, which the city implemented in 2018. Grove, a Republican, said city officials had kept in touch with the state auditor’s office over the course of recent years, providing updates on Alliance progress.

“Before the mayor’s plan went into effect, the city had been in deficit budget operations for 10 years,” Grove said. “So by entering the mayor’s plan, the city was already $ 250,000 in the red.”

According to a report from the chairman of the finance committee, Alliance ended 2018 with a carry-over of $ 445,000, 2019 with $ 1.4 million and 2020 with $ 3.1 million. City auditor Kevin Knowles said pandemic relief helped the city manage its spending last year.

“The city’s main source of income is income tax, which dropped significantly last year to 7%. But we got $ 1.2 million in CARES Act money that we used to offset the payroll, so we cut our expenses, ”Knowles said.

The city still has US bailout funds to use, but Knowles said that as pandemic relief is not a regular occurrence, it is not factored into the annual forecast.

Alliance also received a reimbursement of over $ 1 million from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation in 2020.

Grove said one of the most important factors contributing to the city’s financial stability is the distribution percentage of municipal income tax. The percentage of money allocated to different funds is adjusted each year, he said, and can affect the year-end carry-over. This year, Alliance’s income tax payout percentage was 79%, down 12% from previous years.

The Alliance’s general fund revenue for 2021 stands at $ 11.4 million, according to a report by Grove’s finance committee. That number is about $ 113,000 lower than in 2020 and about $ 898,000 lower than in 2019. But the report says a drop in income was expected this year due to the lower allocation percentage of. income tax.

Grove said the state auditor’s office has told city officials the Alliance needs a $ 1.2 million carry-forward balance each year depending on the city’s size and population. in order to get out of budgetary surveillance status.

Knowles said it was too early to determine whether the city would be ready to step out of tax watch in 2022. But the process would require city council to pass an ordinance requesting the removal, and Knowles would need to make a forecast showing the city is in a stable financial situation.

“With COVID, there are still a lot of uncertainties, even if things are improving,” he said.

Contact Paige at 330-580-8577 or [email protected], or on Twitter at @paigembenn.

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